Friday Five: The greatest scene in tennis movie history

Published by Bede Briscomb

Paul Bettany was an acting powerhouse in 2004's 'Wimbledon'; Getty Images

With the release of upcoming tennis movies Battle of the Sexes and Bjorg McEnroe we thought it appropriate to reminisce on the long list of acclaimed movies the sport has inspired.

What’s that? All of them stink. No, surely not. There’s *scrolls through IMDB* 2004’s Wimbledon. Yeah, that stunk. 2009’s Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach. Stinks. 2014’s Break Point. Stinks. Woody Allen’s 2005 Match Point? I guess, but was there any actually tennis in that movie?

Okay, change of plans. Lets do a Friday Five deep dive into the magnificently glorious ‘Championship Point’ scene from Wimbledon:

1. “Championship point. Right then.”

The slow zoom gets me every time. Every. Time. Also now I can’t stop picturing Rafael Nadal saying “Punto de campeonato” to himself super-seriously on the final point of this year’s US Open.

2. The grunting

C’mon, Paul. Who grunts like that? I know there was no YouTube at the time to study some of the pros but c’mon man, turn on a TV. You sound like piranhas are nipping at your feet.

3. The lineswoman


Probably my favourite. This lady means business. Not sure about the outfit, though. Surely The Championships, Wimbledon can do better than a casual green and white button up. Blazers, guys, blazers.

4. John McEnroe

“He’s done it. He has done it. The journeyman has won. A wildcard entry ranked No.119 in the world – now champion at Wimbledon!” Nice, Mac. Totally believable. Your jubilation – so vibrant. But I don’t know about saying “I’d be torching the stadium about now” to millions of people on a live international broadcast.

5. The rallies

Two things here:

  1. Did the coaches of these men ever tell them not to play tennis in between the net and the baseline? We in the biz call it ‘no man’s land’ and apparently the 2004 men’s singles Wimbledon champion does all his best work there.
  2.  The shot Jake Hammond (Paul Bettany’s opponent) plays at 2:18. If going for a smash then pulling out last second to run back to the baseline to hit a tweener on championship point in Wimbledon doesn’t get you an academy award then what hope is there for Hollywood? This puts Federer to shame…




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